ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Workforce Development and Community Education Department at Belmont College will be offering a Natural Gas Utility and Pipeline Field Skills Training Program at the Main Campus in St. Clairsville. The four-week program begins on March 12 with classes running 20 consecutive weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The training program will blend classroom and hands-on field experiences to provide a basic understanding and awareness of natural gas, the natural gas utility and pipeline industry, associated equipment, procedures and operations.

The classes are offered at no-cost for eligible students in West Virginia, southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio, thanks to funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission which covers the cost of tuition and program implementation. While the training is targeted at displaced coal workers, veterans, high school graduates, and other displaced workers in the Appalachian region are able to take advantage of the opportunity. Washington Greene County Job Training Agency, Inc. is the grant recipient and is the fiscal agent for the initiative.

In order to qualify, students must take and pass a five-panel drug test, clear a criminal background check, possess an active driver’s license with a clear driving history, and have a high school diploma or GED. All students who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion.

This Natural Gas Utility and Pipeline Field Skills Training Program is designed to increase participants understanding of the gas utility and pipeline industry, assist building a stronger resume, and enhance the chances of being hired. A job fair with hiring companies will be held on the last day of class to allow students the opportunity to talk with potential employers.

"We are very pleased to be holding this training program at Belmont," said Ed Mowrer, Manager, Belmont College Energy Institute. "This hands-on opportunity should provide great prospects for displaced workers and those looking to get a jump-start in the natural gas industry."

According to Steve Patrick Findle, Program Manager for GTI, a leading energy research, development and training organization who developed the curriculum and designed the program, "This is a great avenue for people to find an attractive career in a robust industry."

Spaces are still available and individuals are encouraged to register now. A program application form can be found on the GTI website at www.gastechnology.org/from-black-to-blue. For more information about the Natural Gas Utility and Pipeline Field Skills Training Program, call the Belmont College Workforce Development Office at 740-695-9500.

GTI is a leading research, development and training organization that has been addressing global energy and environmental challenges by developing technology-based solutions for consumers, industry, and government for more than 75 years. www.gastechnology.org.